The Kohlification Effect
A look at how Indian stalwart, Virat Kohli did in the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup, 2014.
With the ICC T20 World Cup drawing to an end yesterday, it is time to sit back and reflect on the performances of the players. India had an unbeaten run in the tournament until hitting a roadblock in the finals - the consistent key performer being none other than Virat Kohli.
The talismanic batsman for India, Virat Kohli has become the most reliable and consistent batsman in world cricket in current times. He proved his mettle yet again in the 2014 T20 WC, where he also managed to bag the Man Of The Series award for scoring the highest runs in the tourney.
With India's opening pairing losing a bit of its sheen, the onus of bringing stability to the innings without losing momentum fell upon Virat Kohli. Just like he always does, Kohli managed to bask in the pressure and expectations and churned out match winning performances, one after the other. With the impeccable timing he has at his disposal, coupled with a vast array of shots in his armoury, Kohli managed to score runs freely. Starting off the tournament with a couple of practice matches, Kohli scored a wonderfully constructed 74*. It proved how he was raring to go come the main tournament.
The flamboyant Kohli played 6 matches and scored 4 half centuries in the same, also remaining unbeaten on 3 occassions. He scored 319 runs at an average of 106.33 and a strike rate of 129.14. Perhaps the only average innings he played according to his standards was the one against Australia where he was dismissed for 23. However, the innings against South Africa in the semi finals was probably one of his best performances in a T20 match. Kohli scored 72* in a difficult run chase against a quality bowling attack. In fact he himself said after the match, "Depending on the importance of the match, yes, you can say it is my best T20 innings." In the finals against Sri Lanka too, Kohli did his best by scoring 77 - more than half of the team total of 130. However, this performace of his did not prove to be enough owing to the lack of contributions by other team members and a below par target to chase for Sri Lanka.
Prowess with the bat aside, Kohli is still a vital cog in the wheel for the Indian side. He has the ability to constantly motivate the other team members with his aggression and hunger for succeeding every time he takes the field. Though there were some question marks raised about his attitude in the past, Kohli has now managed to bring his temper under control without having to quell the natural fire in his belly making him the competitor that he is. He is electric in the field, and can also get in a couple of overs of medium pace if the situation demands so. All in all, Kohli is a complete package; and a supremely consistent one too.
The best thing about Virat Kohli is the way that he grasps his opportunities and makes the most out of them. His deadly and lethal combo of talent and hard work has helped him reach the heights at which he is today. Even the Indian captain MS Dhoni had praises to shower on him during the run up to the big finale. "Virat is somebody who is very different if you compare him to someone like Rohit Sharma or Yuvraj Singh or Suresh Raina. He has been someone who has grabbed the opportunity to the best potential he had, because more often than not you will see individuals, if they get five games they will say, 'If I had two more games I would have done something'. But you see Virat, the very first game he gets as an opportunity, he grabs it with both hands."
With the IPL about to start in less than two weeks, Kohli would now face a new challenge and find himself leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Though there will be a total change in teams with domestic and international players from all around the world playing together, it should not make much of a difference when it comes to his approach. He has always been a feisty performer, and will continue to give his 101% in each situation. Even when it comes to captaincy, he is fairly experienced and knows how to express himself. Not to mention the high level of respect he commands owing to his extraordinary performances at every stage he has graced. The elections may favour BJP instead of Congress, or the sun may start rising from the west; but one thing that we can expect to be constant is the fireworks by Virat Kohli.
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